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Never drinking again

Old 02-18-2018, 11:34 AM
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Never drinking again

Hi All

I've been sober for over 5 months now following a year or so of ups and downs until "I got it". I've got a set of tools that work for me and am very happy with how things have been going.

Rationally I know I can never drink again. I know that for me and the majority of people who get to the point where alcohol has become a very serious issue, that I cannot moderate my drinking. So picking up the first drink will in short order end up with me in a world of pain.

Having said that, there is a niggle somewhere that at some point in the future I might be able to go out and enjoy a few sociable pints. It's ******** and past experience has shown me with a very pointy stick that it's ********. But the niggle persists...

So I'm interested in hearing from people who have made that commitment and how they came to it. It is expected if you are following the Rational Recovery path but not all of us are. The AA way of "Just For Today" is another way and I can understand why people would take that view. So I'm not looking to start a discussion on the pros and cons of RR/AA/SOS/SMART/Refuge etc etc, I would like to hear from individuals who have a made a personal for ever commitment to never drinking again, unconditionally, and how they came to accept and internalise that decision.

Thanks
Ed
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Old 02-18-2018, 11:48 AM
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Hi Ed and congrats on 5 months! I am still taking it in increments after 9 minths completely sober (took me a good 18 months to "get it"). Currently I am using major events and vacations as "just stay sober until (beach holiday, wedding, airplane) - pretty much any major date in time that would go hand in hand with drinking. So far several of these events have come and gone with my choosing to not drink, and it feels so incredible afterwards,,,like a major accomplishment!
I have also wondered to myself at what point will I be able to wrap my head around NEVER. Then I think of several ppl I know who proclaimed NEVER, but then relapsed after lengthy sobriety, leaving me to wonder if it really matters, or if we should just conclude our lives are just better without alcohol? 🤔
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Old 02-18-2018, 12:01 PM
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In the early months of my recovery work, it became clear to me that I had never been a "normal" drinker, and no matter how much I might have liked to been one, or be one, that wasn't going to happen. I was never going to be a normal drinker. The only solution was never drinking again. Ever.

If I ever drink, it won't be with the illusion that I'm somehow cured, or able to have a few. Any drinking will be a full on rejections of my recovery and vow of sobriety.

I don't plan on that happening. Ever.
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Old 02-18-2018, 12:22 PM
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Hi Vinificent and thanks for taking the time to reply

I did something similar I think. I deferred the decision by saying "Okay, let's get to 3 months and see how I feel". And what I felt like was a beer! And it all went horribly wrong

I don't think I can allow myself any more get out clauses but I can see how it could work and it's obviously working for you
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Old 02-18-2018, 12:44 PM
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Reality...what a concept!
 
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Originally Posted by Ibble View Post

I did something similar I think. I deferred the decision by saying "Okay, let's get to 3 months and see how I feel". And what I felt like was a beer! And it all went horribly wrong
Indeed I had several horribly wrong experiences as well during my initial 18 months ( during the time when I knew I had a problem with alcohol, but just could not wrap my head around not drinking at all, ever). Now I know I just don't want to go there at all.
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Old 02-18-2018, 01:58 PM
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Thanks for the post. I have about the same amount sober time and I know what you mean. My drinking thoughts have lessened somewhat but they still pop up from time to time. I donít think I can completely shut that down though. It would definitely be nice to hear others members experiences with this🙂
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Old 02-18-2018, 02:17 PM
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Hi Ed - it's so good to have you here. Congrats on your 5 sober months - that's wonderful.

Unfortunately, I allowed myself to reach the point where it was quit or die. I'd been drinking 30 yrs. & in the end, it was every day. I had a horrible withdrawal, my life was in shambles. I finally knew that to pretend I could control it was suicide. I'd tried & failed so many times to have 'a few' now and then. Very bad & dangerous things had to happen to get me to admit I could never trust myself once it was in my system. So when I got sober, it was a precious gift to me & I've been grateful ever since. (10 yrs. thanks to the encouragement I found here.)
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Old 02-18-2018, 03:11 PM
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A gift to be treasured and enjoyed is such a lovely way to put it😊 Definitely something to try and hold on to.
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Old 02-18-2018, 05:18 PM
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I asked God for help. I was dying of alcoholism. When he answered my prayers I knew I would never have to drink again. I continue with a maintenance program. He does the rest. It's my partnership with my hp that keeps me sober.
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Old 02-18-2018, 08:00 PM
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I left my quart of vodka a day addiction behind almost seven years ago on a Monday morning. I quit once, and I quit for good. How I came to that choice I described here https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...ined-long.html.

That niggle you describe is what I call AV, that misplaced survival drive corrupted by what was for me decades of alcohol abuse. Recognize it, accept that it will be with you, and most important also realize that it is powerless over you. All you need do is say so for it to be so. Believe in yourself and and your ability. Attribute all doubt and niggling to the AV. Then move forward

And onward!
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Old 02-18-2018, 08:15 PM
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Things had gotten really bad. I was still working out and going to work and doing everything, but when I drank it was totally out of control and would go on for days and nights sometimes, drinking at all hours. My relationship was hanging on by a thread, then I behaved bizarrely in a blackout and that Monday, I knew I was done. Just done. I had no doubts. There was no fear I would go back, I just knew with a certainty deep in my gut that I was through with alcohol.

It was tough for three months and I had to grit my teeth sometimes and console myself and when I needed to talk I went to AA or I came here, but never considered drinking again. I suffered, yes but not with indecision.

I used a lot of smart recovery with the way that I did it but I was also just done drinking.
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Old 02-18-2018, 08:30 PM
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My overlying principle is that I want to be sober much more than I want to drink. And after 8 yrs, I don't want to drink at all.

I want to be sober more than anything.
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Old 02-18-2018, 08:42 PM
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I cannot drink ever again as well, I enjoy my sobriety , Im almost at 9 months. I know that if I drink again I will fail. Being sober is a gift that I cannot take lightly. Life has been amazing since I quit. The AV comes and goes , it difficult for a split second but then you realize the amazing gift of sobriety and everything gets better.
There are people that can drink and theres also people that can fly helicopters, I can't do either and Im fine with it. We are all different but same at the same time
I can now look into the sun on a warm day , be fine that I know my limits and enjoy the choice I made for my family and for myself.
Enjoy life, its beautiful, you've made the most important decision in your life!Congrats
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Old 02-18-2018, 08:58 PM
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Hi Ed,

I'm 50 years old and drank for thirty some years, never once considered that I had a problem. I quit on March 5th 2017 after my non-problem added up to 32 ounces of cheap vodka and 4-6 twenty four ounce cans a day all starting at around 6:30 AM. I don't shun it, hide from it or refuse to be around it, I just can't drink it ever again. To me quitting was not the end of the world, but quitting did open a door to a life that I had forgotten for a long long time. I forgot what it felt like to just live, feel good and to sleep soundly.

If drinking is causing you problems or is spiraling out of control then quit because it only gets worse. Unfortunaty there is no check list or magic formula or balance act between this or that to keep you sober but you alone.
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Old 02-19-2018, 02:42 AM
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It is a good thing AA is about permanent sobriety. In the directions for the first step it says 'The delusion that we are like other people, or presently maybe, has to be smashed." My bold. That seems clear that I need to get rid of or smash any idea that I will ever be able to drink normally.

We do it by learning to live life one day at a time. Not worrying about the future or morbidly reflecting on the past, we look to living well today by utilising the 12 steps. When I did that, the drink problem left almost as a by-product.

I like this new way of living, it has changed me. I don't believe I will ever drink again, and I am very happy about that.
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Old 02-19-2018, 03:11 AM
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Thanks for all the posts.

I think for me, at this time, it will be enough to accept that I may still get an urge to drink. But I have confidence in my future self that I have the motivation and tools required to fend it off, just like I have for the past 5 months.

Take care
Ed
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Old 02-19-2018, 03:33 AM
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For me, I have already made the decision to stop for good. There is no need to re-assess by giving myself a fixed amount of time to get through and then see how the land lies.
The day by day thing doesn't work for me, because it would be like having to make a decision every morning not to drink just for today.
I have faith enough in myself, to know I am never going back to it. So why undermine that faith by taking it day by day, as if I am afraid to take that leap into freedom.
BTW I am into RR so it is to be expected. BUT that is one of the reasons I got into it...the stopped forever mentality
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Old 02-19-2018, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by mandypandy View Post
The day by day thing doesn't work for me, because it would be like having to make a decision every morning not to drink just for today.
This is exactly what I do every morning. I just open my eyes, tell myself, "No matter what happens today, I will not drink." BOOM. Done. Easiest decision I'll have to make all day. It's worked for me for nearly 9 years now.

That said, find whatever works for you and WORK IT!
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Old 02-19-2018, 04:31 AM
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As you say, whatever works for you I don't think there is any point in giving it up in the first place, if you are pushed into a way of living that makes you uncomfortable and on edge-
viva freedom, and diversity- it's what makes life interesting
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Old 02-19-2018, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Ibble View Post
Hi All

Rationally I know I can never drink again. I know that for me and the majority of people who get to the point where alcohol has become a very serious issue, that I cannot moderate my drinking. So picking up the first drink will in short order end up with me in a world of pain.

Having said that, there is a niggle somewhere that at some point in the future I might be able to go out and enjoy a few sociable pints. It's ******** and past experience has shown me with a very pointy stick that it's ********. But the niggle persists...

So I'm interested in hearing from people who have made that commitment and how they came to it. It is expected if you are following the Rational Recovery path but not all of us are. The AA way of "Just For Today" is another way and I can understand why people would take that view. So I'm not looking to start a discussion on the pros and cons of RR/AA/SOS/SMART/Refuge etc etc, I would like to hear from individuals who have a made a personal for ever commitment to never drinking again, unconditionally, and how they came to accept and internalise that decision.

Thanks
Ed
When I got sober in AA I had no credibility with myself. I had told myself I wouldn't drink that day or I would cut back or I would do this or do that so many times I didn't trust myself.

My first AA meeting the chairperson said he had 10 years sobriety. He might as well have said he went to the moon. I couldn't comprehend 10 years of not drinking. But I had no trouble grasping the one day at a time concept. I'm not saying what I will do tomorrow I am just not drinking for today.

When thoughts of drinking do pop up like if I am walking in an airport I play out the tape in my head. And it always ends bad.

Because I don't want a drink or two. I want to get loaded and that's the way it has always been with me.
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